A slow, dreary start on this last Monday in August. My sluggish body protests any movement faster than slow; hands and fingers struggle to push beyond the drag of arthritis to move across the keyboard; heart and mind easily slide into the sullen places. Days like today I turn the words of another to soothe my aches and pains.
A Rainy Day Psalm
I greet you, Pilgrim Rain, mystic, ancient traveller,
visiting me today, washing over our land,
soaking the earth and enriching it,
nourishing growth with greening gifts of life.
But you are only passing by,
briefly streaming past my door
on your pilgrimage to the sea.
You are a pilgrim who blesses all you touch;
O gentle yet powerful pilgrim,
stone-carver and sand-maker,
what hidden gift do you have for me?
"I teach you about illusions;
like brief bubbles riding tiny trickles
are your ideas that you can control your life:
flick a switch and you create light,
turn a key and power fires,
just a twist of a dial and music plays.
You live in an illusion of control.
"But I, by my downpour descending from the sky
and flowing past your door,
have altered your life today:
your outdoor plans now rearranged,
your neat agendas put on hold."
"Learn of me how little you control in your life;
yet by changing your present plans,
I offer you entrance to a timeless reality,
a chance to listen and be present
to the One who is always beyond."
Thank you, Pilgrim Rain:
it's a small but beautiful gift
to be reminded of the reality of life.
Soon the fireball of my daystar sun
will pierce with long yellow fingers
your mobile home of gray clouds,
and the wind will push them onward
to send you on your restless way again.
Thank you for your holy pilgrim's gift;
may I live like you, always on the move,
my home the endless journey, sacred-sea-bound.
May I live like you, falling and rising;
nourishing always, till I ascend, once and for all.
(Edward M. Hays, 1989: Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim, Forest of Peace Books, p.179)